Building the mound

The Oseberg mound is located in the Slagen Valley, near today´s Slagen church, three miles outside of Tønsberg.

Archaeologists are not sure why the mound was built in this particular location, but the surrounding landscape might have been of importance.

An artistic view of the ceremonies performed during the burial of the two
Oseberg women. (Illustration: ARKIKON).

The Oseberg grave is the only one known in county Vestfold that was covered in peat. The thick layer of peat served as a protecting cloak, preserving in an almost perfect state the objects buried.

The last part of the ship to be covered wasthe deck in front of the grave chamber, suggesting that access to the dead women over an extended period of time was of ritual importance. The peat layer could deliberately have been placed to preserve the fine grave gifts for eternity.

The Oseberg mound is one example of several burial customs during the Viking Age. In some graves objects were deliberately destroyed or “killed”. However, the finds from Oseberg were found intact.